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Unifor establishes ‘illegal’ blockades around Co-op facilities in Yorkton: FCL

According to the Federated Co-operatives Limited, (FCL) Unifor are blocking two Co-op facilities in Yorkton, Saskatchewan.
According to the Federated Co-operatives Limited, (FCL) Unifor are blocking two Co-op facilities in Yorkton, Saskatchewan. Michael Bell / The Canadian Press

Unifor has established more blockades at two Co-op facilities in Yorkton, Sask., according to the Federated Co-operatives Ltd (FCL).

FCL said Unifor is using vehicles to prevent access to Legacy Co-op’s cardlock location and FCL’s bulk petroleum plant.

Both facilities are used to distributed fuel to farms and businesses in the area.

READ MORE: Regina councillor wants to call on province for binding arbitration to end refinery labour dispute

“Unifor continues its use of illegal blockades despite the mediation process being contingent on no illegal activity,” said Heather Ryan, FCL vice-president of human resources.

“It’s difficult to accept Unifor’s sincerity and commitment to the bargaining process when we see these tactics taking place during the mediation process.”

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FCL said they are considering legal options and have notified local RCMP.

“It’s not a barricade. It’s secondary picketing and we’re continuing to do our job action across the province to try to put as much pressure as possible on Co-op and FCL,” said Scott Doherty, executive assistant to Unifor’s national president.

“Just like they continue to do what they need to do around bringing in scab trailers.”

READ MORE: FCL compensating truck drivers affected by Unifor blockades

Co-op and Unifor began special mediation with Vince Ready began on Feb. 18. FCL said more meetings are scheduled for early March.

“This isn’t an easy dispute to resolve. Otherwise, we would have already been there, but we had meaningful conversations with Vince,” Doherty said.

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“We have lots of faith in Vince. He’s a well-respected mediator and negotiator and we are hopeful.”

Labour action began on Dec. 5, 2019, after Unifor issued a strike notice, followed by Co-op locking out its workers.

A division of Unifor represents some Global News employees.